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Bioarchaeology of pig domestication and husbandry
A research project of the Department of Archaeology.
Funded for 3 years from 2000 by the Wellcome Trust and AHRB, the primary research objective of this study is to identify the chronology and temporal spread of pig domestication and husbandry in Eurasia. This collaborative international project is providing a clearer but more complex picture of how, where and when this economically important farmyard animal has been exploited by past human societies. It has employed a range of standard and novel techniques, with emphasis on an integrated approach, and has been conducted on a geographic and temporal scale never before attempted. New techniques (some developed by ourselves during this project), involving tooth development, dietary studies and genetics, are allowing us to construct ‘signatures’ for pig domestication and husbandry from some key regions of the world. We are now expanding this research beyond our original focus of the Near East and Europe into the Far East, Island South East Asia and Oceania.